"... What does that mean-- 'tame'?" asked the Little Prince.
"It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. "It means to establish ties."
"'To establish ties'?"
"Just that," said the fox. "To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy
who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of
you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more
than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we
shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I
shall be unique in all the world..."
"What must I do, to tame you?" asked the little prince.
"You must be very patient," replied the fox. "First you will sit down at a little
distance from me--like that--in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner
of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of
misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day..."
The next day the little prince came back.
"It would have been better to come back at the same hour," said the fox. "If,
for example, you come at four o'clock in the afternoon, then at three o'clock I
shall begin to be happy. I shall feel happier and happier as the hour advances.
At four o'clock, I shall already be worrying and jumping about. I shall show
you how happy I am! But if you come at just any time, I shall never know at
what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you... One must observe the proper
"What is a rite?" asked the little prince.
"Those also are actions too often neglected," said the fox. "They are what
make one day different from other days, one hour from other hours. There is a
rite, for example, among my hunters. Every Thursday they dance with the
village girls. So Thursday is a wonderful day for me! I can take a walk as far
as the vineyards. But if the hunters danced at just any time, every day would
be like every other day, and I should never have any vacation at all."
(Taken from The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)
De-taming means to create a routine to detach; to get use to the idea of separation and to be stranger to one another. Similar to the idea of taming, de-taming takes time and routine.
While initially I thought total detachment is necessary to move forward, later I realized that it only kept the separation unreal. There were too many what ifs that made me wonder about what went wrong while in reality there was nothing I could do to make it right. Through de-taming, I am able to reduce the emotion and to accept the change of status of our relationship.
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